Daube de Boeuf Provencal


In this classic French stew, beef is slow-simmered to tenderness. A red wine with herbal notes balances orange zest and thyme; egg noodles soak up the flavorful sauce.


  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 3 strips orange zest, (2 to 3 inches each), plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a large knife

  • 1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces (about ½ cup)

  • 3 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (about 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) rich red wine, such as Cotes de Provence, Cotes du Rhone, Syrah, or Shiraz

  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½ cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought beef or chicken stock

  • ½ cup nicoise olives, pitted and rinsed

  • Coarse salt


  1. Make a bouquet garni: Put thyme, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and zest on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle. Combine onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bouquet garni, and wine in a large non-reactive bowl. Add beef, and toss to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove beef from wine mixture; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Transfer wine mixture to a heavy pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of the beef, turning, until deeply browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.

  4. Stir tomato paste into stock; add to the skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add to wine mixture. Stir in olives and beef. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  5. Cover daube; transfer to oven. Cook 2 hours. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees if daube starts to boil. After 2 hours, stir in orange juice. Cook until beef is very tender, about 30 minutes more.

Cook's Notes

You can make this stew a day ahead to allow its flavors to mellow and mingle.

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